Q&A on the Stay-at-Home Order in Ottawa

Q&A on the Stay-at-Home Order in Ottawa
Posted on 04/29/2021
Q&A on the Stay-at-Home Order in Ottawa

You may have had some questions about what kinds of activities are still available to families during the Stay-at-Home Order in Ottawa. Ottawa Public Health has helped provide answers for a few common questions below.

Can two individuals from different households walk or run together, while distanced?

In general, no. But there is one exception: One person who lives alone may join another household for activities.

If one household runs into another household on the playground – will this be looked upon as a gathering?

Likely, no. However, this would depend on the specific circumstances and how far everyone was distanced etc. If they begin to congregate, remove their masks, or get within 2 metres of each other, then a Bylaw Officer might determine it to be a gathering

Are Bylaw officers proactively patrolling outdoor spaces?

Yes, Bylaw is proactively patrolling outdoor spaces to ensure compliance with all provincial orders and municipal bylaws.


What is considered reasonable suspicion for Bylaw to stop people, in order to halt them from attending a gathering? There were concerns of children who may not look like siblings/blended families walking together and being stopped.

Bylaw Officers who have “reasonable grounds to believe” a provincial order has been violated may ask for identification. That said, Bylaw Officers will always investigate, use their judgment, and a commonsense approach during the course of their duties. 


Can one household have a picnic outdoors in the park?

Yes, this would be permitted as parks and open spaces are open.

Can one household fly a kite in the soccer field (which are deemed closed)?

No, given that soccer fields are closed, entering them is currently prohibited.

Can one household drop their children off at another household/grandparent’s place for childcare and/or support with virtual learning? Does it matter what age the children are?

“Home childcare at a person’s dwelling” is permitted; however, the purpose of this visit would have to be exclusively for childcare purposes.

Please note, a “child” means a person who is younger than 13 years old.

Can my children still access their other parent during the “Stay-at-Home” order period?

Yes, taking a child to the child’s parent or guardian or to the parent or guardian’s residence is permitted.

More questions?


City of Ottawa background page on closure of outdoor recreation amenities during the Ontario government’s Enhanced Stay-at-Home Order.


Don’t forget… the Supporting schools during COVID-19 webpage is a valuable resource to help answer a lot of the questions you may have. Please review this webpage to access daily screening, important resources, and answer some of the questions that you may have.


Want to find answers to common testing and result questions related to children and schools? Want to know how to care for your child who may have symptoms?  What is a high-risk contact? How often should outdoor clothing be washed? Get those answers and more by visiting the Supporting schools page.


To speak directly to a public health nurse for answers to questions related more to your own family, contact the Ottawa Public Health Information Centre (OPHIC) at 613-580-6744.

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